a person sitting at a desk in front of a computer

Reimagining Uninterrupted Learning at Sacred Heart School in Tullamore

Dr. Kevin Marshall

Dr. Kevin Marshall

Head of Education, Microsoft Ireland

Read Time, 3 min.

As students and teachers once again find themselves away from the classroom environment and learning from home, schools are again adapting to different ways of learning to ensure quality education continues.

For the Sacred Heart School in Tullamore, Co Offaly, the staff and student body were well prepared to deal with this upheaval and continued to deliver education uninterrupted, as a result of their digital education journey starting a number of years ago, and which is now firmly a part of their educational experience.

Almost eight years ago, this transformative school decided to adopt a digital-first approach, meaning that when the pandemic caused disruption on our shores, this generation of digital natives and their teachers had the skills to adapt and were already familiar with this innovative way of learning.

 

Please note this video was filmed prior to the current public health restrictions.

The introduction of new technology at the school ushered in a new way of teaching as it moved away from the longstanding “chalk and talk” approach, where children watch while the teacher works at the board. Now, teachers can take their Surface device and walk around the room, projecting what’s on their device onto the board, and students can also project their screen to share their work. The device hasn’t replaced the teacher, it has simply become a tool to enhance the learning experience.

Teachers use Microsoft Teams to conduct classes which are then recorded, and they also use it to correct assignments and provide feedback to pupils. The breakout rooms function within Teams simulates a real classroom scenario. The teacher can allocate and oversee multiple projects, all the while students can share files, chat and collaborate on projects in real-time, both in and out of the virtual classroom.

Sacred Heart has also integrated Microsoft OneNote as it provides a digital canvas or whiteboard that is easily shared with students, where teachers can write, type or add links, videos, images and audio for students. It allows for a more interactive and immersive learning experience.

The use of Office 365 also makes learning more accessible, with tools like the Immersive Reader helping students with additional learning needs by providing audio versions of written documents or by using visual clues for words.

The time and energy invested in adapting this digital approach to learning came into its own during the COVID-19 lockdown, as teachers and students were able to quickly adapt to remote lessons and the disruption to their lives was minimised.

The Insights tab on Teams also gave them access to data on how students were engaging with the lessons and work.  And during the first lockdown, the school reported a 90% engagement rate with lessons across its entire student base.

“We have an unusual kind of aspect in that we’re quite a traditional school in the way we look, but we’re quite a progressive school in the way that we act.”

Pauline McKenna, Principal at Sacred Heart Tullamore.

“We’re leading in education in that we have fused quality teaching and learning with digital technology. We had spent about six years researching bringing in a device for our students and teachers. Repeatedly it came back to Microsoft, because they were not only delivering a device but they were delivering an education package as well,” said Pauline McKenna, Principal at Sacred Heart Tullamore.

“We have students who have become active participants in their own learning and they will continue that long past the time they leave the Sacred Heart School,” McKenna added.

 

Remote Learning with Microsoft Surface for Education

Curious on how to transform your teaching and learning experience with technology? Redesign learning with Microsoft Surface for Education.

Discover more related articles per industry:

Education

Finance & Insurance

Government

  • a plane sitting on top of a grass covered field

    Fáilte Ireland Rapidly Adapted and Innovated with Microsoft Power Apps

    Fáilte Ireland Rapidly Adapted and Innovated with Microsoft Power Apps  When the Covid-19 pandemic closed offices globally and truly changed how every organisation functions, it created additional unanticipated challenges for many. Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, was one such organisation which had migrated much of its work to the cloud. The tourism body, which employs 450 people, identified that […]

  • Two people inside using Surface Go in office

    How technology is transforming the work of governments

    Governments have the ultimate responsibility to their citizens. People depend on the services they provide like no other institution. Whether in healthcare, education, business, roads, railways, water – it’s essential that government institutions are always at the forefront of social and digital trends. Cloud-powered technologies are playing a critical role in helping government agencies to […]

Healthcare

Manufacturing

  • Smart moves help save water, money … and the planet

    Smart moves help save water, money … and the planet

    Grundfos is a global leader in advanced pumping solutions and water technology. It contributes to global sustainability by pioneering technologies that improve the quality of life and health of people worldwide. As part of these efforts, Grundfos continues to increase the IQ of its smart pumping solutions with the Microsoft IoT Suite and Microsoft Dynamics […]

  • Uncovered: 4 Essential Field Service Trends For 2018

    Uncovered: 4 Essential Field Service Trends For 2018

    In a changing world of innovative new technology, connected devices, and shifting employee and customer needs, what trends are shaping the future for the Field Service industry and how can you embrace them? Trend #1: Putting the right tools into the right hands “It’s about empowering the field service engineer with more than just the […]

Retail

Discover more related articles per dossier:

Customer Stories

  • a large ship in the background

    Sparking joy: decluttering the energy sector with Dynamics 365

    Business growth in the digital age is faster than ever before, but it doesn’t come without its own hurdles. While rapid growth is a positive for any business, inherited legacy systems and outdated practices can quickly pile up as businesses expand and acquire. This was a hefty challenge faced by Nordic energy giant Gasum, who […]

Digital Transformation

  • A smiling man wearing a gray shirt while looking up.

    One small step, one giant leap

    In 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick created one of the most striking images of human progress to ever hit the silver screen. The famous edit that cut from the image of a bone thrown by a group of apes to a spaceship orbiting the planet mesmerised audiences with its simple communication of a complex […]

Press

  • Image of a man and woman smiling

    Microsoft and Connect at Catalyst Inc

    Microsoft and Connect at Catalyst Inc It’s an exciting time to be working in the technology sector in Northern Ireland. More than ever before we’re seeing increased numbers of entrepreneurs, start-up businesses, and indeed multinationals setting up in the North. Working together and learning from each other encourages a strong technology ecosystem and ultimately yields […]

Security & Privacy

Tips

  • Group of two female and one male office workers brainstorming in informal office setting. Both women are using laptops while the man is writing. Large screen shown in background.

    2019 Modern Selling Trends in 5 webinars

    The relationship between buyers and sellers grows more complicated each day. Every potential partnership requires finding the right buyer, fully understanding their business, tracking progress through the buying cycle, and engaging them with the right content—when and how they want it. These shifting dynamics underscore the artistry of modern selling. When the time is right, […]